Are coyotes “moving into” the city? Do they belong here? Can we kick them out to “where they belong?” Debates seem to immediately mimic the worst forms of racism and fear-mongering that accompany debates about immigration, the unhoused, or the racial profiling of residents. Which is to say, they reflect and refract ideas about the control of movement and of staying in place. They reflect thinking about who gets to be a resident, a citizen, or a deportable alien and on what basis: whether it be genes, history, race, coat color, stomach contents, or behavior.
Coyote management plans, hazing, and non-lethal management of coyotes thus come to occupy the other poles of settlement or of Ghassan Hage’s “generalized domestication”: not eradication but containment or assimilation Hage (2017). Containment means keeping coyotes out: create reserves, build fences and walls, innovate “coyote rollers” or wolf urine spray bottles; create roving property-claiming human-animal pairs through the leash, encourage coyotes to hunt elsewhere by securing food, clean up clutter etc.
Hage, Ghassan. 2017. Is Racism an Environmental Threat. Malden, MA: Polity.